In July, we celebrated our anniversary. Initially, we were planning to take a long weekend trip somewhere, but ultimately decided that new floors would be an even better present to ourselves.
In case you don't know, our house was completely carpeted, save for one closet and the bathrooms, when we bought it. Yes, even the kitchen was carpeted. Thanks to the one closet that was uncarpeted, we were fairly certain hardwood floors were just waiting beneath all that carpet. Refinishing the existing hardwoods worked for everyplace but the kitchen and sunroom. Since we didn't know what was under there, and didn't have the resources to address it if it was damaged or bare subfloor, we left those areas carpeted.
Walking through Lowes one day, we decided to scrap the long weekend-away plans for our anniversary (at that point, it was still months away), and get new floors in the bathroom, kitchen, and sunroom. (linoleum with a few rips, carpet, and carpet, respectively)
By the end of it, we had settled on a darker tile for the bathroom, which will work nicely with the redesign we have in mind; a slate-looking tile for the kitchen, and cork for the sunroom. (seeing other people putting cork in their kitchen sometimes gives me pangs of regret. I thought about it! But was talked out of it. I now live in fear of the day we drop of glass or plate on our pretty tile floor!)
There isn't much frugal to say about the floors themselves. Even though the tile will be freezing in the winter, I'm glad to be rid of the carpet. No carpet means that the vacuum isn't necessary, and that any Minnie-dog accidents can be cleaned up with a paper towel or rag. The steam cleaner may be retired. I also think that the non-carpet will benefit us when we do eventually sell this house. Cause the floors are so pretty!
While we may have been able to install the cork ourselves (it is a floating floor deal), since we were already having the installers come out to do the tile, we opted to let them do what they are paid to do! My husband did do a tiny bit of vertical tile work in the shower before we officially moved in. Learned there that tile layers get paid for a reason. Especially when it is vertical tile!
What we did do to save a bit of money was prep the areas, so all the installers had to do was come in (move the toilet) and lay the floors. This involved ripping up the carpet and carpet pads, removing carpet staples and tack board, removing any quarter round or base boards we wanted gone, and of course, moving furniture and appliances.
Everything was shoved into the dining room. It was an interesting sight.
We did run into a stumbling block, though. Turns out that our kitchen carpet had been laid during a small window of time when "they" used a rubber backing to essentially glue the carpet to the floor. That rubber backing was not fun. We didn't take it up, but the installers said it needed to come up. That stuff did not want to leave the floor! Our installers were awesome, though. They assessed the job, and were able to knock it out pretty quickly, and for less than we were willing to pay not to have to do it!
The lack of access to our kitchen for a few days made the endeavor more expensive than we had initially anticipated, but the floors are awesome. Overall, we are very happy with the new floors. Especially with the fact that they are not wall-to-wall carpeting.